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Enhanced screenings at Detroit Metro Airport over concerns of Coronavirus

Posted at 5:06 AM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 14:41:29-05

DETROIT, Mich. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting enhanced passenger screenings at Detroit Metro Airport amid growing concerns over the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.

Cleaning frequencies have also been increased in the McNamara terminal, which has direct flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai, China.

The death toll in China continues to rise as 132 people have died from the virus and almost 6,000 cases of the virus have been reported.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday that they are increasing the global risk assessment posed by the virus from moderate to high risk.

"The global risk assessment is high, the regional level is high, and for China, it's very high," Christian Lindmeier, with WHO, said. "It definitely is an emergency, it's an emergency in China. It's not widely spreading outside of China, but again, we have to be prepared in case it would."

Health officials say because the virus behaves like the flu, the best way to protect yourself against it is to practice the same behaviors you would against the flu such as washing your hands often and staying home when you are sick.

Due to the outbreak of the virus, hundreds of Americans who are in Wuhan, China are being evacuated, but one American man said he isn't going anywhere.

San Francisco Native Doug Perez said he can't leave China because his Chinese girlfriend and their dog can't come with him.

Wuhan is one of 17 cities with more than 50 million people on lockdown ordered by the government and Perez said he isn't the only American staying put.

"Moreover, many of us, for example, if you have a Chinese wife who doesn't have American citizenship, she can't come. So there is no way on earth many of us, including myself, are going to leave our loved ones, in my case, my girlfriend or my dog," Perez said.

The U.S. government chartered a flight to take several hundred American diplomats, family members and other Americans out of the country and back to the United States where they will be screened for the virus. However, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday that worry about the virus should not impact Americans’ day-to-day lives.

So far, there are five confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. and no sign they have spread the illness to those around them.

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